WEEKLY SUNDAY SCHOOL LESSON
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A WEDDING IN CANA
(GOD reveals HIS glory in unexpected ways)
The now famous “wedding at the village of Cana” in Galilee, is regarded as the site of the first of the “seven signs”, or “miracles” of the MESSIAH, that are recorded in the Gospel of John. This miracle was a private miracle, known only to Jesus’ disciples, a few wedding servants and quests, and Mary, the mother of JESUS.
Of the four Gospel writers, only the Apostle John was present at this wedding, and perhaps that is why this event in JESUS’ ministry is found only in his Gospel account. John, perhaps, uses the word “sign”, instead of “miracle”, in his account so that he might draw away from the spectacle of the event, in order that we may better focus on the significance of the event.
The “turning of the water into wine” is also the first of the 35 miracles of JESUS that are recorded in all of the four Gospels combined. This miracle occurred three days after JESUS called Philip and Nathanael to be a part of HIS ministry. JESUS’ disciples at that time, HIS mother, and, HIS brothers were all invited. A wedding feast of this nature would typically last for seven days, and it would begin following the groom’s taking of his bride to his home, or, to his father’s home for consummation of the marriage.
After all of the wine had been consumed (v. 3), JESUS’ mother turned to HIM for help. In verse 4, JESUS’ response, and use of the word “woman” to respond to HIS mother, in those days, was a polite term, even though it may not be for us today. The expression “What have I to do with thee”, also in verse 4, in the Greek, was a common expression that referred to a difference in relations, or realms. It also can be translated, “How does that concern you and me”, which, would seem more likely what JESUS was stating.
According to Jewish custom, the host at a wedding feast always treated the guests with wine, and the guest’s name was mentioned when the wine was poured. The statement spoken by JESUS, “MY time has not yet come” (still in verse 4) may simply mean nothing more than, “It is not MY turn to treat”. JESUS may have just been stating that HIS position at the wedding was as “quest”, and HE didn’t wish to upstage the host by taking away from his responsibilities.
JESUS did “treat”, however, and the water was miraculously turned into the best wine of all. Six large stone water pots were there, which was normally used for regular Jewish ceremonial purposes. Each pot could hold twenty to thirty gallons of water. JESUS instructed the servants to fill the pots with water. After the pots were filled to the brim with water, JESUS told them to dip some out and take it to the Master of Ceremony. When the Master of Ceremony tasted the water that had been transformed into wine by JESUS, he called the bridegroom over and said to him, “Usually the host serves the best wine first, then, when everyone is full and doesn’t care, he brings out the less expensive wines. But you have kept the best for last”.
Some scholars believe that all of this was a clear signal that Mary must now face the fact that her SON JESUS was now committed totally to the will of HIS FATHER GOD in Heaven, and to the completion of HIS mission here on earth. And although she had given birth to HIM, and raised HIM from a child, she must now submit herself to JESUS as her LORD and SAVIOR, just like all the rest of humanity would have to do, in the process of time. And while she did not completely understand this at the time, she had decided, from that moment on, to trust in HIM completely.
The, significance of this miracle is explained by John, in verse 11 as the initial manifestation of the glory of CHRIST to men here on earth. JESUS’ first miracle of transforming water into wine at a joyful event such as this wedding, was a sign of the joy that HE would bring to all mankind, through “a transformation of hearts”. HIS ministry would be a “transforming one”, and the transformation that HE would bring, would come by way of the HOLY SPIRIT.
A Sunday school lesson by,
Larry D. Alexander
LARRY D. ALEXANDER- Official Website